NC’s Broadband Fight Continues Tomorrow (Apr. 21)

Wilson’s municipal broadband operation is right on target. In spite of the difficult economy of the past two years, sign-ups are great. People are excited about Greenlight, and they’re showing their support by signing up.

The biggest obstacle, as I see it, is the constant stream of legislative attempts to limit cities and towns from offering this service. On Wednesday, April 21, Senator Daniel Clodfelter is expected to introduce a moratorium on municipal broadband in NC.

If he introduces a bill, or some other measure as expected, this will be the fourth attempt to stop municipal broadband in NC.

Here’s a little timeline of the cable company’s ever-changing reasons for the law:

2007: Cities and towns can’t possibly run a network like this. The taxpayers need protection from poor investments.
2009: Cities and towns have an unfair advantage. Cable companies need protection from these advantages.
2010: (as reported) Cities and towns aren’t paying enough tax money to the State. The State needs protection for its finances.

MediaPost News is running a great story today about NC’s broadband fight. I encourage you to read the story to find out more about this issue. The spokesperson for one of the companies was quoted as saying that, “By no means are we against the competition. We’re just saying that all competition should be on a level playing field.”

Interesting choice of words. They want competition to be on a level playing field. That’s the nickname of the monopoly protection bill from 2009. It’s almost as if they had a hand in crafting the bill, but that couldn’t be. Right?

If you can make it, we’d love to see you on Wednesday, April 21st at 9:30am in room 544 of the Legislative Office Building.

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